Bonnyrigg High School holds first annual Careers Week

To give students an insight into the huge range of study and career opportunities that await them after they leave school, Bonnyrigg High School recently held its first ever Careers Week.

31 May 2021
Four EPPP Ambassadors standing in a line smiling at the camera
Image: EPPP Ambassadors Tyrone Pynor, Rose Cox, Arcadia Meldrum, Kelsey Commons

Unlike many careers-focused events, which are typically pitched at students in Years 10, 11 and 12, Careers Week at Bonnyrigg catered to all. It’s never too early for students to start thinking about their futures, a belief that motivated Joanne Gilmour, Head Teacher Secondary Studies and Careers Advisers Kayla Vassali and Susanna Tieu, who set about designing a series of events that would engage students of all ages.

Year 7 and 8 students, for example, played a careers-themed version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’, which got them thinking about different kinds of jobs. At the other end of the spectrum, the school’s Year 11 and 12 students attended a mini career expo, an experience that saw them engage with various employers and training providers. Students from Years 9 and 10 attended a panel event where they heard directly from people working in a wide range of fields.

Our Educational Pathways Pilot Program (EPPP) Ambassadors, Rose Cox (Hospitality) and Tyrone Pynor (Culture and Arts), spoke about their current roles, and the study and training that got them there. With experience spanning hospitality and production services, the former EPPP TV guests (Rose appeared in Episode 3, Tyrone in Episode 8) proved popular with the attentive audience. So too were Arcadia Meldrum (Sports/Business) and Kelsey Commons (Live Production and Entertainment), who were on the ground at the expo.

“Careers week was about highlighting career options for students and creating community engagement, showing students what is on offer within the local area and hearing stories from people and ex students who were in their situation only a few years ago”, said Susanna Tieu, a careers adviser at Bonnyrigg High School.

Kayla Vassalli told us “it was also an opportunity to target younger year groups, to introduce careers education and to plant the seed and expand their views on available careers”.

It was also a chance for teachers to chip away at some misconceptions about VET. Bonnyrigg High School is home to an ethnically diverse community, and some of the parents and carers believe that a university education is the only pathway that will lead to successful careers for their children. Of course, that’s not the case, and Careers Week helped dispel that painfully persistent myth.

“As an EPPP school one of our main goals is to showcase that a VET pathway is just as valuable as a university pathway, and to expose students to as many VET career options as possible,” says Olga.

Based on those objectives, Careers Week at Bonnyrigg High School was a runaway success.

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